Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Solar Array On Capped Landfill


Town Manager Paul Bockelman speaks at the ribbon cutting at the new solar array at Amherst's North Landfill. Photo: Maura Keene

After over 10 years of planning, Amherst’s 4 megawatt solar array with 15,000 panels is now on-line and producing enough electricity to meet half the needs of the town’s municipal buildings. In addition to generating green energy, the panels will provide about $100,000 in energy credits annually for the next 20 years. Cypress Creek Renewables completed the installation.

The north landfill site at 740 Belchertown Road was previously used for trash disposal from Amherst, Pelham, and Shutesbury from 1982 until the early 2000’s when it was capped with clay and seeded with grass. Because of the waste buried beneath the surface, there are limited allowable uses for the site. The south landfill site, across Route 9, is the home of the new Amherst Dog Park and a conservation area to protect the endangered grasshopper sparrow.

Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Ciccarello credited the impetus for the solar array to the late Town Manager John Musante and former Finance Director Sandy Pooler. She said the project would not have been possible without the advice and efforts of many town employees and committees.

About thirty people attended the ribbon cutting on Monday, November 14. At the ceremony, Town Manager Paul Bockelman said, “This has been a long and winding road.” The original developer went bankrupt, and then began an almost biblical succession, where one company begets another, until Cypress Creek Renewables took over. “We’re very tenacious,”Ciccarello said.

Architect’s conception of map of the solar array on Amherst’s North Landfill. Photo: amherstma.gov
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1 thought on “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Solar Array On Capped Landfill

  1. Bravo. But why do energy projects in the USA (and especially Amherst) take so long to do? The Chinese would have done it in a month or two; Europeans maybe a year.

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